WARSAW — People can help keep essential workers, such as those in hospitals and nursing homes, stay safe by making fabric masks. There are also instructions on making them on the internet and also places in Kosciusko County where the masks may be taken. These homemade masks, usually made of cotton material, are to help from using surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Wearing a cloth mask may help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Lowery Sewing Center, Warsaw, donated some fabric for people to make masks locally, said owner Adam Harman. He said he has donated some to Cardinal Services and Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. Harman said he has a discount on certain fabric, like cotton, for people to make masks.
Janet Warren, Claypool, has sewed homemade masks for Miller’s Merry Manor residents. She’s made close to 40 already. She said she tucks a prayer into each mask, too. Going through such an event makes her feel like “you just want to be a part of it.”
“It’s a privilege to help in any way possible,” Warren stated.
Pam Schumm has made some masks already — about 50 masks to be exact. The Syracuse resident started sewing when she saw a need for them on Facebook. Schumm started working on the masks right away.
“I’ve gotten donations or material so I keep on sewing,” Schumm noted. “I’ve been giving them away.”
Schumm has given some to a nurse at Kosciusko Community Hospital, 30 to a doctor at Goshen General Hospital, and Owen Funeral Home, as well as a local doctor’s office.
“I’m now getting requests for friends and family,” Schumm explained, adding her friend, Dixie Simmons, is also making masks.
Bob Weaver, the county’s health administrator, said people may drop them off at his office; call (574) 372-2349 first and make arrangements and he would “be happy to take some and distribute them as needed to area nursing homes.”
Ken Locke, of The Salvation Army in Warsaw, said it will take mask donations to distribute, as well as be given to food pantry clients, if they want a mask. The Salvation Army, 501 E. Arthur St., Warsaw, is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Monday to Friday (closed Good Friday).
Marsha Huffman is making masks, too, with a group of ladies from Liberty Sewing Circle. The group has made 450 masks that will be donated to various organizations and businesses, such as Cardinal Services. The group started last week and will do so, “until the need ends,” she said.
Parkview Warsaw Accepting Mask Donations
In an effort to conserve personal protective equipment for its clinical staff, Parkview Health, Warsaw, has partnered with the community to sew face masks for patients and is now sharing directions for volunteers. Thanks to the overwhelming response from the community, 725 mask-making kits were distributed to volunteers in just three days.
In an effort to support volunteers, who still wish to sew and donate homemade masks and have materials on hand, Parkview has shared its mask-making instructions.
The supplies needed to make a mask include: a 9-inch-by-7-inch piece of fabric, two 32-inch strings or ribbons, scissors, thread and a sewing machine.
Once complete, all masks can be delivered to the main lobby desk at Parkview Warsaw, 1355 Mariners Drive, Warsaw, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Donated masks will be laundered by the hospital laundry service before they are distributed. Please note: Parkview cannot accept fabric donations at this time.
Businesses wishing to donate supplies of unused, personal protective equipment, such as N-95 masks and gloves, may also do so by dropping them off at either facility. The donations will be vetted for safety before distribution. Businesses interested in making a donation of PPE should contact Carrie Hoffman at [email protected]
People may also email [email protected] with any questions about the mask-making or donation process. For information, visit www.parkview.com/community/dashboard/homemade-mask-instructions.